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NEIL LaBUTE is a graduate of Brigham Young University, the University of Kansas, and New York University. While enrolled in the Graduate Dramatic Writing Program at NYU, he was the recipient of a literary fellowship to study at the Royal Court Theatre in London, and also attended the Sundance Institute's Playwrights Lab.

His first feature, "In the Company of Men," won the Filmmakers Trophy at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, as well as the New York Film Critics Circle's Award for Best First Feature. For his script, LaBute was honored with the Best First Screenplay Award at the 1998 Independent Spirit Awards.

LaBute's second feature, "Your Friends & Neighbors," debuted in 1998 and also found success with critics and audiences. The film starred Amy Brenneman, Aaron Eckhart, Catherine Keener, Nastassja Kinski, Jason Patric, and Ben Stiller.

His third feature, "Nurse Betty" world-premiered at the 2000 Cannes International Film Festival, where it received the Best Screenplay Award. For her performance in the title role, Ren~e Zellweger earned a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture [Musical or Comedy].

LaBute is partnered with producer Gail Mutrux (who produced "Nurse Betty") in the production company Pretty Pictures, which has a first-look deal with Focus Features.

LaBute's plays include "Filthy Talk for Troubled Times," "Rounder," "Sanguinarians & Sycophants," and "Ravages." He also penned adaptations of "Dracula" and "Woyzeck," which have been produced at venues in the U.S. and abroad.

Three of his one-act plays were staged by director Joe Mantello under the title "bash, latterday plays." The plays were "Medea Redux," "Iphigenia in Orem," and "A Gaggle of Saints." The stagings, produced by Stephen Pevner, were in New York City (in the summer of 1999); in Beverly Hills (in late 1999); and in London, presented by the Almeida Theater Company (in the winter of 2000).

The Beverly Hills production of "bash, latterday plays" (starring Ron Eldard, Calista Flockhart, and Paul Rudd) was taped for, and broadcast in August 2000 on, Showtime under LaBute's direction.

LaBute returned to the U.K. to direct the world premiere of his latest play, "The Shape of Things" (starring Gretchen Mol, Paul Rudd, Rachel Weisz, and Frederick Weller), presented in the spring and summer of 2001 by the Almeida Theater Co. He then staged the play (with the original cast) in the fall of 2001 in New York City, at the Promenade Theater.

Focus Features will release LaBute's next movie, the film version of "The Shape of Things,&q

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